Noah Richardson’s ‘Painful’ is the smooth groover about a love triangle

‘Painful‘ is the latest single from Philadelphia-based musician Noah Richardson, who wrote it in collaboration with his friends John Minehart (bass) and Dylan Korman (guitar), as well as producer Tyler Ripley. The smooth crack-yo-neck grooves simmer beneath a delicate array of laidback beats and sensitive guitars, which gives the song that late night vibe. Richardson‘s dynamic tenor vocal also places the song’s protagonist is those small hours, where he’s laying awake at night agonising over his relationship.

“This song is about somebody stuck inside of a love triangle, and knowing that regardless of the outcome it’s going to hurt. However, you get just what you pay for when you fall in love and are in a love triangle. Someone’s going to get hurt and it’s going to be painful.”

Like Richardson repeats, “you could make this painful,” admitting that he’s aware of the situation that he’s letting himself into, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be leaving anytime soon. There’s no set resolution by the end of the song, instead it fades out and the listener is left to wonder what will happen next.

Back on the sonic side, there’s a very natural flow to ‘Painful’. It’s a slow-stepping journey through hazy textures and warm melodies that organically appeared one day, like Richardson recalls:

“The demo for painful came about during a practice session with my friends John Minehart (bass) and Dylan Korman (guitar). We were practicing for some shows coming up and the two of them started getting into this chord progression/groove that was really soulful and heart breaking. I kinda stood staring at the ground while they jammed it out, with the chorus melody pinballing around my brain. This must’ve been written on my face since Dylan looked at me and nodded his head like, “Oh yeah he’s got something”. From there, it was off to the races.”

Check out ‘Painful’ in our Soul & Grooves playlist.

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